Published in the August 22, 2016 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Police arrested a married couple on firearms and drug charges after stopping the car that they were in near Farm Street and Old Nahant Road Friday night.
Police said that Officer John Whaley was on patrol at Main and Nahant streets at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday when he observed an older model Hyundai Alantra pass through the intersection at a high rate of speed and continue down Nahant Street. Whaley caught up with the car, which he clocked at 45 mph in a a 20 mph zone.
After stopping the car, he noticed that the woman who was driving and her male passenger appeared nervous. Off. Whaley also observed in the back seat a black sweatshirt, a black fleece jacket and a black hat, which were considered suspicious given the warm weather. The passenger also initially gave Whaley a false name.
While at his cruiser, Whaley also observed the male passenger turn and reach into the back seat of the car. After several more officers arrived at the scene, the man and the woman were removed from the car. In the pocket of the black fleece jacket, police found a loaded, large capacity Springfield 9mm handgun. The gun had been reported stolen out of Arizona in 2014, police said. They also located a small amount of cocaine in the car.
Police arrested Richard Smith, 33, of 19 Clairmont St. in Malden and Jennifer A. Smith of 246 Ash St. in Reading. According to police, the pair are husband and wife. Both were charged with possession of a large capacity firearm, possession of cocaine and receiving stolen property. Jennifer Smith faces additional charges of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and speeding.
Police seized the car the pair was in and are processing it for evidence.
Police also said that Richard Smith is a person of interest in the armed robbery of the Elm Street Convenience Store on July 31. The robber in that case wore a mask and a black hat and escaped with cash and a quantity of cigarettes after showing a gun.
Deputy Police Chief Craig Calabrese commended Off. Whaley for excellent work in handling this incident.
At about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, police arrested a 33-year-old Maine man after observing the motorcycle that he was operating being driven in an erratic manner on Chapman Road. Police said that a woman initially reported a motorcycle being driven erratically on Route 128, which she said had then pulled onto Chapman Road.
Police responded and observed the erratic operation before stopping the bike. Police said that the operator told police that he had no license on him and initially gave police a name but claimed he could not remember his address.
After further investigation, police determined his true identity and arrested Peter K. Garland of 68 Main St., South Berwick, Maine for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and furnishing a false name to police.
At about 10 p.m. on Saturday, police received several calls about a car that crashed into a utility pole on Lowell Street. The Fire Department also responded. The driver refused medical treatment but was cited for a marked lanes violation. The Light Department responded to check on the pole.
In other business over the weekend:
• Police and the Fire Department responded to a minor crash at North Avenue and Chestnut Street between a 2009 Cadillac and a 2014 Mazda at about 8:45 a.m. on Friday. Police said that the Cadillac was attempting to cross North Avenue heading west and collided with the Mazda. There were no injuries and both cars were driven from the scene.
• The driver of a 2007 Toyota Camry was cited for failure to yield after pulling out of a driveway and hitting a 1996 Toyota Tercel on Main Street in Greenwood at about 10:15 a.m. on Friday. The Fire Department also responded and said that there was one minor injury but both drivers refused treatment. Firefighters swept up debris from the crash and both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.
The Fire Department responded to 26 calls over the weekend, 16 of which were for medical aid.
The non-medical calls included a house lockout, a stuck elevator, a carbon monoxide detector malfunction and an outside odor of gas.